21 Aug 2015

Record number of tourists visit New Zealand

5:50 pm on 21 August 2015

A record number of tourists visited New Zealand in the past year.

It is the first time more than 3,000,000 people have visited the country, and a 7 percent increase on the previous year.

Statistics New Zealand said the expanding market of Chinese holiday visitors, and the steady growth of visitors from Australia, helped push up numbers as well.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said it was great news for the economy.

"The international visitors spent over $8 billion in New Zealand in the last 12 months. That expenditure isn't just on tourism products, it'll be on shopping, general groceries, fuel and all sorts of things."

There has also been an increase in the number of immigrants, with an influx of students, mainly from India, contributing to the spike in migration.

And New Zealanders did a lot of travelling, with a record number of people heading overseas - up 5 per cent on the previous year.